Underground Stroll; a Unique Experience
The tour will mainly focus on a route inside the coal mine. Before descending into the pit, visitors must change clothes and they will receive a safety talk. They will also be provided with a light and a self-rescuer. They will then visit the machinery room building, which can be considered the “heart of the mine”.
The next step is to board the mine cage and begin the tour of the underground galleries.
Sotón. The honour of the mine. Brief impressions of a descent to the pit.
After leaving the office building, visitors, dressed in mining outfits, will visit the Machine Room Building and Trade Union Office first, which, as is well known, is a Monument of Cultural Interest (B.I.C.).
The Machine Room is the most important building in a colliery, since it houses the machines that allow the mine to operate and thanks to which suitable underground conditions are created that enable the miners to carry out their work.
Once in the Machine Room, the guides will explain how the machinery works, highlighting the two extraction machines used to raise and lower the cages in two vertical shafts, as well as the compressors, i.e. The equipment used to supply compressed air inside the mine.
RECORRIDOS POR EL INTERIOR DE LA MINA
Visits to the interior of the mine will be conducted on levels 8, 9 and 10 of Pozo Sotón at an approximate depth between 386 and 556 metres from the surface.[/fusion_text]
“LA JOTA” CHIMNEY
The “La Jota” Chimney is a singular and unique element. This is a sloping shaft with vertical sections built by hand between levels 8, 9 and 10. It is only supported by pieces of timber. It is about 100 metres long on an average slope of more than 43 degrees with small vertical sections. Its average diameter measures less than 1 m2. Its difficulty level is quite high and, therefore, it cannot be compared to the rest of the tour proposed, which has a medium difficulty level – this is a relative comparison because the difficulty of all the routes inside the mine is high in all cases-.
The following images and videos give a very reliable idea of the effort required to cross La Jota. We recommend watching it to have a clear idea of the level of difficulty this section presents.
- Access on Level 8 (depth -137.88 m below sea level)
- Exit on Level 10 (depth -308.27 m below sea level)
- Approximate length of the route (return): 5 km.
- Duration of the visit: 4 hours
- Areas of interest: The La Jota Chimney, vertical coal extraction area using a wall chases (La Lozana), extending the gallery with explosives (La Lozana) and the coal extraction workshop using sub-level method (El Multiple).
DESCRIPTION OF THE VISIT
We shall access the surface boarding area where we shall take the cage down to the mine. On the surface, we shall see the hut of the cage operator, the intercom systems used to communicate with the people in the mine and the railway tracks.
The cage will descend 386.25 metres to Level 8, where we shall exit the cage. From the boarding area on Level 8, we shall go directly to the La Jota Chimney and descend from Level 8 to Level 9. Due to the physical demand involved in exploring the La Jota Chimney, visitors may, if they choose, take an alternative route that is less demanding.
At the boarding area on Level 9, we shall explain the communication systems and elements used to connect with the surface (sound-powered telephone, signal panel…), emergency equipment (stretcher, first aid kit…), traction elements (winch) and the tracks, as well as the electrical substation, the vacuum circuit, and we shall also explain the door-based ventilation control systems and the discharge of materials into the landfill area.
We shall also explain the automated chain system used to hoist the wagons and we shall see the worker waiting area, which is also used when blasting in the mine.
Then, we shall visit the boarding area of the auxiliary pit, Pit 2.
After visiting the above, we shall walk to the areas where the coal was mined. Along approximately 2 kilometres of galleries, we shall make our way north observing the various water, air, communication, control, power and ventilations facilities used in the mine, as well as the tracks, the systems used to hold up the galleries and the automatic vent opening system.
Once we have reached the Coal Mining area, we shall visit the vertical workshop with the wall chaser and the progress of a pilot bore in the La Lozana area. Then, we shall visit the nearby sub-level mining face (soutiraje) and we shall have to descend a slope.
When we reach the bottom of the slope, we shall be on Level 10 of the mine. Here, we shall take a look at a coal loading hopper and another slope that leads down to the sub-10 Level, which is completely flooded.
We shall then begin to make our way back to the boarding area on Level 10. After a distance of about 2 kilometres, we shall reach the battery charging room, where we shall see how batteries were charged and we shall explain the various maintenance tasks required on the electric train engines used inside coal mines.
After visiting the pump room, which is near the boarding area, we shall access the cage and exit the mine.
Given the special features of the area being visited and the conditions of the tour, similar to adventure tourism, visitors must be aware that stress and muscular overload situations may occur during the tour.
The conditions inside the mine are rather special: darkness, artificial lighting, sounds, unusual noises, feeling of confinement in small spaces, humidity, heat, presence of dust in the atmosphere…
Therefore, in order to take the tour, visitors must meet certain basic physical requirements./strong>
The interior of the mine has not been adapted for people with reduced mobility.
The activity is not open to minors, unless expressly authorised by the minor’s guardian and after signing a specific authorisation. However, the minimum age to take part in the visit is 16.
Visitors should not present any of the following situations, which are considered contraindications:
- Arrhythmia, angina pectoris, history of myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease.
- Bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or diseases that affect the ability to breathe.
- Claustrophobia, epileptic seizures or seizures in general, a history of stroke, disorders affecting the sense of balance or dizziness, problems walking.
- Morbid obesity, insulin-dependent diabetes, arterial hypertension with uncontrolled readings.
Under normal circumstances, if, by chance, any severe health problem should arise while inside the mine, the guides accompanying the tour have been trained in first aid. In addition, a protocol is in place in the event of accident in order to ensure the safety and evacuation of the people inside the mine. In addition, the company has its own Medical Service which is prepared to deal with any incidents that may occur during the visits.
Given all these considerations, for safety reasons, HUNOSA reserves the right to deny access to the mine to people who, in HUNOSA’s criteria, do not meet the minimum requirements to be able to undertake the activity[/fusion_text]
It is advisable to attend with two changes of underwear as the set used during the visit will not be in conditions to be used that day. If you should forget, HUNOSA can provide visitors with mine standard underwear. However, take into account that these are exclusively male garments from our mining outfits.
HUNOSA will provide towels. Each person is advised to bring footwear for the shower as well as a toilet kit with products for their personal hygiene.
It is strictly forbidden to enter the mine with any type of electrical or electronic device: battery powered watches, cell phones, cameras…
Likewise, food is not allowed inside the mine.
Smoking is not allowed inside the facilities.
Time of arrival at Pozo Sotón: 08.20 (Note: after this time, you will no longer be entitled to visit the mine and you will not be entitled to any reimbursement.)